June 2023 in Review

  • Published
  • By Bradley J. Clark
  • 908th Airlift Wing

The 908th Airlift Wing started the month of June celebrating two anniversaries, on June 1, 1973, the 908th Tactical Airlift Group was declared combat ready, then on the same date in 1998, Col. Thomas R. Brown became the 18th commander of the 908th.

Friday June 2, saw the wing congratulate 16 members who promoted.

Sunday, June 4, the wing welcomed nine new members to its ranks.

On Tuesday June 6, the wing remembered the 4th anniversary of sending 14 members and two C-130s to Normandy, France in 2019 to participate in events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Europe. The two aircraft had invasion stripes painted on the fuselage and wings to make the occasion.

The next day the wing remembered another D-Day event. On June 7, 1998, members of the 357th Airlift Squadron dropped multi-national airborne troops over Normandy in commemoration of the D-Day anniversary.

Also on June 7, the wing celebrated Master Sgt. Donald Googe, 908th Airlift Wing legal section superintendent earning two awards.

First, Googe earned the Andrew Stadler Award as the Air Force Reserve Command’s Outstanding Air Reserve Component senior noncommissioned officer Paralegal of the Year. This award honors Chief Master Sergeant Andrew Stadler, a former Air National Guard paralegal career field manager. Winners are selected based on their training accomplishments or contributions to mission support, exhibition of leadership in contributing to civic, cultural, or professional activities in the military or civilian community, attorney/paralegal partnerships, external collaboration, management skills, and enrollment in off-duty programs of professional self-improvement.

Then, Googe also earned the Donald C. Rasher Award, honoring the career judge advocate and eighth Commandant of The Judge Advocate General's School, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the JAG Corps' education and training programs by an Air Reserve Component judge advocate or paralegal.

Thursday June 8 saw the wing celebrate two very similar events in its history. First, Lt. Col. John P. Cranford became the fourth commander of the 908th on June 8, 1968. Then, Col. Brett J. Clark became the 22nd commander of the 908th on June 8, 2008.

Friday, June 9, was the 21st anniversary of the wing having one C-130 and crew from the 357 AS participate in a three-ship formation that dropped 120 paratroopers near St. Mere Eglise, France in 2002 as part of the 58th anniversary of the D-Day invasion at Normandy.

The next day the wing remembered a critical event that has helped shape all the changes the wing is currently going through. On June 10, 2020, The Secretary of the Air Force, Barbara Barrett, selected Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama as the candidate base and reasonable alternative for the MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopter Formal Training Unit.

The wing next remembered a major moment in history for one of its units. On June 14, 1952, the 357th Bomb Squadron was redesignated as a Troop Carrier Squadron and activated in the Reserve at Clinton Air Force Base, Ohio.

On that same day but in the present, the wing highlighted Tech. Sgt. Clive Johnson, 908th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion specialist who was recently recognized as the 908 AW’s 2022 Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

Another anniversary started on June 17, 1995, and ended on July 8, 1995, when two groups of more than 20 members each from the 25th Aerial Port Squadron partnered with the 640th Air Mobility Support Squadron at Howard Air Force Base, Panama to onload and offload more than 250 aircraft.

The next day the wing celebrated another anniversary, when the 357th Airlift Squadron participated in Coronet Oak, the Air Force Reserve Command support of U.S. Southern Command from Muniz Air National Guard Base, Puerto Rico starting June 18, 2016, and ending July 2, 2016.

Then, the next day the wing remembered that on June 19, 1969, the 908th Civil Engineer Squadron was constituted as the 908th Civil Engineering Flight.

On June 20, the wing remembered two significant events in its history. First, on June 20, 1987, the 908th received the first of eight-brand new C-130H models directly from Lockheed when tail number 85-0035 landed at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Then on June 20, 2021, a 908th Aeromedical Staging Squadron team evacuated Bagram Airfield and moved to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. They were some of the last medical personnel at Bagram when the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing in-activated and the base closed.

On June 21, 2023, the wing released an article welcoming its new Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Kristen Maloney, featuring her vision for the wing’s future. Maloney has more than 25 years of service and joined the wing after her last assignment as the senior enlisted leader for the 934th Mission Support Group at Minneapolis-St. Paul Air Reserve Station, Minnesota.

Another milestone in the wing’s history was celebrated the next day. From June 22 to 28, 1996, the wing participated in Airlift Rodeo ‘96 at McChord Air Force Base, Washington and won the title of Best C-130 Maintenance Team in the World.

The following day the wing remembered another significant event. In 2001, from June 23 to July 7, two C-130s and more than 60 908th members deployed to Muniz Air National Guard Base, Puerto Rico in support of Coronet Oak. During the deployment, members delivered supplies to remote areas across Central and South America with challenging airfields.

On June 27, the wing celebrated the one-year anniversary of the release of the strategic basing decision that certified Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama as the host for the MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopter formal training unit. The MH-139A replaces the UH-1N Huey in providing security and support for the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missile fields and to provide contingency response, continuity of operations, and airlift for senior government officials in the National Capital Region.

On June 28, the wing highlighted Capt. Kristian Taylor a flight nurse assigned to the 908th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron who was recently recognized as the 2022 Company Grade Officer of the Year for the wing.